Halilhodzic: Japan need luck against Australia

Halilhodzic: Japan need luck against Australia

Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic spoke to reporters on Monday ahead of their clash with Australia in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

The Samurai Blue will meet the Socceroos at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne on Tuesday in a match that will heavily influence both teams’ quest to top Group B.

“We’re facing the strongest team in Asia at the moment,” Halilhodzic said. “They’re a well-organised and quality team. But each team has a weakness. 

“Even if they’re the strongest team, we have to prepare well for our important task.

“We controlled the ball a lot in the second round of qualifying, but Australia could press high. They have a lot of players based overseas and they’re strong physically, plus of course they’re at home. 

“Teams pressure harder when they play at home. We haven’t faced this sort of situation, but I’ve told the players not to panic. 

“We’ll need to manage the small details, concentrate, and have some luck go our way. It’s going to be a very tough match, but I’m looking forward to seeing how we play tomorrow.

“Some of our key players haven’t played much recently, and that’s affected our quality. Yet we’re still creating more chances than anyone in Asia.

“The quality of our play depends heavily on our physical condition. I can’t predict how much we’ll improve, but our key players are missing a lot at the moment.”